NAIA Player Spotlight: Talon Pinckney – College of Idaho

Major: Business Minor: Art and Design, Psychology, Applied Mathematics
Awards: 18-19 1st Team All-American, 1st team All-CCC, CCC, DPOY

I am sure the opposing Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) coaches are wondering how Talon Pinckney still has eligibility left. Talon has had such an impact at College of Idaho, for so long, that it feels like hes been playing for the past six years. As it stands, he will just be a Senior this year, and is coming off of a Junior year campaign where he was a NAIA DII First Team All-American, and named CCC Defensive Player of the Year. There are a lot of great players across the country, but I would put Talon up there as one of, if not THE, best two way player in the country.

As a high school basketball standout at Centennial HS in Boise, Idaho, Talon was named to the ALL-Southern Idaho Conference team, as well as a 5A All-State selection. When looking for a program and University to call home, the College of Idaho provided him the best opportunity academically, athletically and financially. He felt that he could have an impact in a program that has great tradition, and wanted to be a part of something special.

Colby Blaine and his staff also had a big impact on why Talon chose to attend the College of Idaho. He felt really connected to them early on in the process, and as the relationship with them grew, he knew that he wanted to play for them. When talking about his experience at College of Idaho, it is easy to see the respect that Talon has for Coach Blaine, and said that Coach Blaine is one of the most dedicated and talented coaches in the country. Talon even said that he often calls Coach Blaine, Brad Stevens, and said that he is a guy that you just want to go to battle for. The connection that the point guard and his Head Coach have play a major part in what makes College of Idaho continue to be a national power.

An additional part of what makes College of Idaho a national power, year in and year out, is the fact that they play in one of the toughest leagues in the country. The toughness of the Cascade Collegiate Conference schedule helps teams to prep for the type of teams they will see at the NAIA DII National Tournament. Last year the CCC produced two NAIA DII Fab Four teams. Unfortunately, they had to play each other in the Fab Four, and Oregon Tech knocked off College of Idaho to advance to the National Title game. Even through his personal success in the conference, Talon has a lot of respect for the league. He likes the fact that they get everyone’s best shot. He feels like the CCC is an exciting league where anything is possible, and you have to be ready to play every night.

Talon has a lot of good memories that he’s made as part of being at College of Idaho. He reflects often on the years past, and where him and his brothers (teammates) started, how they have developed and from there how they have progressed each year both as both individuals and as a program. He is excited for his senior season, and is looking forward to getting back to work with his brothers to work towards their program goal of bringing a National Title back home to Caldwell.

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